Renault Revenue Down In 3rd Quarter

French automaker reported revenue of $12 billion for the July-September period, down 11.3 percent from $13.5 billion a year earlier.

PARIS (AP) -- Renault SA said Thursday its revenue continued to fall in the third quarter despite government-sponsored incentives that have helped lift important car buying markets in Europe.

The maker of the Megane and Scenic reported revenue of euro8.1 billion (US$12 billion) for the July-September period, down 11.3 percent from euro9.1 billion a year earlier.

Renault, headquartered in the Paris suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt, said scrappage incentives aimed at encouraging car buyers to trade in old cars for newer, less-polluting models had helped drive a 9.1 percent increase in European registrations of its cars and light trucks during the quarter.

The car maker said those incentives spurred a shift to smaller, less expensive cars which translated into a 1.3 percent drop in its European revenue during the quarter.

Falling demand for new cars continued to weigh on Renault's sales in the Americas, Eurasia and the rest of the world, the company said.

Renault said it is on track to achieve its two targets this year: achieving positive cash flow -- the funds a company is able to generate after maintaining or expanding assets -- and an increase in market share.

Renault's revenue decline was on par with that of rival carmaker Volkswagen AG which earlier Thursday said its sales for the quarter fell 10 percent to euro26 billion from euro29 billion a year earlier.

Renault had a net loss of euro2.71 billion in the first half of this year after it aggressively cut production to boost cash flow, missing out on some of the demand created by government incentives.

Automakers around the world are battling to save cash by running down inventories and cutting costs as they struggle to deal with a collapse in big-ticket purchases amid a global economic crisis.

Renault shares closed up 3.5 percent at euro31.12. The stock has gained 70 percent so far this year.

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